Pure Flix Original Film starring Lucas Black: “Legacy Peak” plus giveaway! (ends 10/4/22)

#sponsor #partner

Pure Flix has produced another fantastic Original Film: Legacy Peak! You will love this if you want a family adventure film that is beautifully honest about the struggles we face in life and family–and in what we bring to the table in relationships. Keep reading for more about this wonderful film, plus enter to win a 3-month subscription to Pure Flix streaming service!

About Legacy Peak

Jason wants nothing more than to have Noelle’s kids like him. But when a perfectly planned trip to a mountain cabin falls apart, the ensuing adventure could tear them apart or bring them closer than they ever imagined. Together they’ll discover how to trust again and what it means to be a family.

Legacy Peak is a thrilling adventure that the whole family can enjoy.

My impressions of Legacy Peak

I KNEW that I knew Lucas Black from somewhere when I saw the exciting trailer for Legacy Peak and I heard his accent. He had co-starred in a police procedural show that I’d seen a few episodes of. I never forgot his fantastic character OR his authentic Southern accent! He brought a refreshing quality to a show that contained difficult material (crime). And he interacted beautifully with his costars.

Not surprisingly, Lucas is just fantastic in this film. His character is ready to pop the question to his darling girlfriend, single mom of two kids Noelle. He doesn’t really understand much about kids, but he is totally a planner, and he thinks he’s got the perfect plan to win them over before he proposes to their mom. He will fly them (and all the snacks he can carry) to Noelle’s dad’s cabin in the mountains, where they’re all planning to spend Christmas. The only thing is–he can’t plan everything. When the unexpected happens, his plan suddenly doesn’t apply. So THEN what will Jason do?

The actors who play the kids are also wonderful. Sam, the older sister, is NOT INTERESTED in going on this trip–or getting to know Jason. Her character arc is fascinating. She’s very solicitous of her younger brother Ben, who really likes his mom’s boyfriend but is a bit tired of being seen as the kid who can’t do anything. The grandfather is also wonderful. All the actors are more than competent and a pleasure to watch. (Noelle is also great; she just doesn’t get a lot of screen time.) And the mountain landscape; well, it’s almost a character in itself. It’s breathtaking visually–and also, perhaps, figuratively.

I don’t want to give you a lot of spoilers. I will simply say that the movie’s core message is an exceptional one, and its story is beautifully told. Legacy Peak has something to say to everyone; and what it said to me touched my heart, embraced me, and reminded me of something I’ll never forget–something that each and every one of us needs to hear. Don’t miss Legacy Peak, premiering September 22, 2022 on Pure Flix!

My recommendations:

If you:

  • love films that your entire family can enjoy together
  • want to see a family beat the odds against a wild and unfamiliar setting
  • desire to be a parent who reaches out to God for help in your own challenges
  • enjoy watching adventure or survival-type tv shows
  • want to be encouraged at the ways God can use everything to work together for good for His beloved children

…then you will LOVE Legacy Peak, just as I did! (And if you watched the Pure Flix series Vindication, you might see another familiar face in this movie!)

Watch the trailer here:

More about Pure Flix–and you can even enjoy a free 7-day trial!

Pure Flix is a one-stop shop for faith and family-friendly movies and shows that you can confidently stream in your home with the entire family. With new premium and exclusive original entertainment choices every week, Pure Flix streaming service has the largest variety of high-quality, curated, positive, encouraging, wholesome movies, series and kids’ content in one service. Pure Flix is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment, alongside AFFIRM Films.

On Pure Flix, you’ll be able to watch incredible shows that I’ve told you about earlier this year, like Going Home, Live+Local, Vindication, the God’s Not Dead movies, Miracles of Heaven (with Jennifer Garner), and so much more.

You can enjoy a free 7-day trial of Pure Flix as well! Just click on Pure Flix for more information and to start your free trial. Paid plans start at $7.99 per month, or as little as $5.84 per month if you choose the yearly plan ($69.99 per year).

And…you can enter to win a Pure Flix subscription!

You can enter to win a 3-month subscription to Pure Flix today!

To enter, simply click on the pink link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on October 4, 2022. One winner will be selected to win. US entrants only, and winner selection is limited to those who have NOT won a Pure Flix subscription in the last 6 months. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Find these inspirational articles on Pure Flix as well!

I love not only all the wonderful faith & family films/shows on Pure Flix. But did you know that they also have some wonderful articles to uplift your faith? Check these out!

Battle Fear and Worry with these 10 Bible Verses for Anxiety

10 Bible Verses to Build Perseverance of Faith

How to Embrace Our Identity as a Child of God

More about Legacy Peak

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure:

Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

“God’s Great Embrace” ~ a review & giveaway (ends 7/24/22)

*this is a sponsored post*

Hello!

I’ve just read a wonderful book I want to tell you about today—plus you can enter a giveaway to win your own copy! FrontGate Media sent me a copy of Adrian Best’s exceptional God’s Great Embrace. It is a beautiful book that’s all about who we are in Christ; and how we can rest in God’s embrace and love just as Jesus did as He walked on this earth.

About God’s Great Embrace

From the publisher: “Imagine experiencing the same unshakable joy Jesus had while he walked this earth. Feeling for yourself his inherent sense of love and belonging, peace and assurance, purpose and fulfillment, despite life’s sufferings.
All this can indeed be yours!

Take a journey through God’s Great Embrace and explore the wonder and mystery of the believer’s union with Christ. Come to know true freedom through sharing in the life of Abba’s Son, Jesus. Full of stories, rich truths, and an abundance of practical applications, this engaging book presents a profound yet easy-to-read biblical exploration of the triune God’s love and grace in a way that’s sure to encourage and inspire you as well as challenge and transform you.”

My thoughts about this book

Are you worn-out and exhausted from your efforts at living the Christian life?

I have felt that way myself. And, I’ve learned the hard way that my own efforts at keeping God’s law were fruitless. In my own strength, anyway. And the New Testament is filled with words from Jesus, and from those who knew Him personally throughout His ministry (John 15:5 is one good example: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”), that tells us that we don’t have to live that way.

But culture, and even the Christian church in America, can give us the opposite impression. We’re supposed to be “good,” right? We’re supposed to never sin, never mess up, never fall short of the example of Christ. That is a lot of pressure, and it’s seriously impossible for any of us to do–again, in our own strength. So how do we live in Christ, follow Him, but not bow and break under the pressure of attempting to be those “good” Christians?

In that last sentence is the key: “in Christ.”

Adrian Best explains better than I’ve ever read or heard before how that can happen. That because of the great exchange of Jesus becoming sin for us, and our accepting Him and His death on the cross for us–we are IN CHRIST. Everything that is in Him is available to us.

That means the rich relationship that Jesus talked about in John 15. It means that we can live experiencing the Lord’s joy. It means that the Holy Spirit really is always with us to help us with difficult situations, with temptations, with struggles–and even with all the moments of our everyday lives that might feel repetitive or lonely. It means that this really is what we can experience:

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

New International Version of the Bible, 1973, John 15:9-11

So what are some of the things I long for the most in this exchanged life, that Adrian Best mentions in his book? Some things that, even though I have been a Christ-follower for years, that I still need and want to embrace?

  • Learning to REST in Jesus, every day–in work and in play
  • Knowing the difference between, and embracing, true worship rather than rigidly obeying a strict moral code
  • That there really is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1-2); and that conviction from the Holy Spirit bears no resemblance to condemnation
  • As Adrian Best says, “God isn’t looking for sinless perfection from us in this life. He’s interested in our hearts.” (p. 121)

I found this book to be so incredibly helpful; that it provided a lifeline for me that connected me even more closely to our Abba (Daddy) Father’s love. And, that it showed me what is God’s job in me, and what is my own responsibility in my walk of faith. (Not keeping a perfect list of rules!) I believe this book will refresh you in your walk and encourage you on your way. Keep reading for more on where you can purchase your own copy; and how to enter to win one as well!

Where you can purchase God’s Great Embrace

You can find out more information from the publisher about this book, download some free chapters, watch the book trailer, and also purchase God’s Great Embrace from a variety of booksellers at the link below.

Purchase book here

Enter to win a copy of God’s Great Embrace

You can enter to win a copy of this wonderful book too! Just click on the “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to the Blessed Freebies website, where you can enter to win. Giveaway closes on 7/24/22. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from FrontGate Media. This was a sponsored post. All opinions are my own honest ones.

New from Grace Valentine: “What Will They Think?” ~ a review

**this is a sponsored post**

When FrontGate Media offered me the chance to review Grace Valentine’s newest book, I was thrilled. I am so happy to share my thoughts and impressions of What Will They Think? I highly recommend it to my readers–especially to the women, both younger and older, who will feel that Grace is speaking to their own hearts.

About What Will They Think?

In this inspiring guide for young women, Grace Valentine shines a spotlight on nine courageous women in the Bible who lived their faith boldly. In a world that pressures you to seek validation from others, learn to focus on what truly matters.

“What will they think?” – It’s a question that consumes many women and may even stop them from living the lives God has called them to live. Whether it’s don’t be too loud, don’t be too aggressive, or your role is to be a sidekick for men, women struggle to live a life that is about pleasing others—but Scripture describes women who actually did the opposite.

In this third release from popular blogger and podcaster Grace Valentine, What Will They Think? features the stories of nine incredible women in the Bible, including Esther, Deborah, Sarah, Mary Magdalene, and Tabitha. These women did not bend to peer pressure or seek to people-please but instead turned their focus on God.

What Will They Think? contains:

• Inspiring and motivating stories of strong women who lived courageously in their faith
• Practical steps on how to stop caring what others think and focus on what truly matters
• Personal stories from Grace’s life and her own struggle to stop focusing on the opinions of others

For inspiration found in the lives of these biblical heroes, What Will They Think? provides steps to finding freedom to live life boldly and to stop caring about what others might think.

My thoughts about this book

I love Grace Valentine’s voice! She is delightful to read, so fun and so relatable. But most important, if we’re reading a book that deals with both Scripture and our own relationships with God, we’d want to know that this author is a woman who’s poured time into Bible study and pursuing her own relationship with the Lord. Well, we do see the excellent results of that in this book! What Will They Think? tells readers Grace’s observations and study about 9 important women in the Bible; how God pursued them and how they responded. And, how their examples can inspire women today to boldly live for God, to love Him, and to love others.

Grace shares the story of nine women:

  • Esther
  • Deborah
  • Sarah and Hagar
  • Mary, the mother of Jesus
  • The Woman at the Well and The Woman Who Touched Jesus’ Cloak
  • Mary Magdalene
  • Tabitha

Then, each of these chapters is followed with a chapter that tells readers 5 things that we can draw from these women’s lives, faith, character, and choices.

Honestly, this book was a delight to read. I read so many things that inspired me, encouraged me, and clearly showed me truths to apply in my life where I needed to grow, didn’t understand God’s love for me, or reminded me of a topic I’ve run into a lot lately: joy. In the era we’re living in, when 2020 included COVID and staying at home (a LOT), and 2021 just seemed like an overflow of the previous year, I have seen anxiety seem to skyrocket (just watch the news), conspiracy theories abound, and meanness appear all over the place. And yet I remember seasons in my own life where joy abounded; when I was happy in my work; and when my trust of and enjoyment of the Lord was at a high.

Maybe you too, as I do, feel that you’d like to do a reset of your life, your faith, and your relationship with God. I believe that you would find What Will They Think? to be a fantastic encouragement and a huge help for that, as you look at the lives of these Bible women and apply the lessons they learned (and more!) to your own life and walk. I so recommend this beautiful book. (Plus–Grace’s voice is a delight. She’s honest, vulnerable, and fun–and a fantastic Bible student!)

Some of my favorite moments from What Will They Think?

I have many segments of this book highlighted and marked with washi tape. Here are some of my favorites!

  • “You, too, were created to step into God’s best, not to shrivel up to fit (or rather be squeezed) into the world’s box for you. Esther had faith, but she did not have control. You may feel like you don’t have control over a lot of your circumstances due to a health issue, your family, your past, your looks, or your financial state, but you do have your voice. And your voice gives you the power to be there for “such a time as this.” (p. 12)
  • “But God isn’t looking for results. He’s looking for you to see Him and for you to know He sees you. God desires your boldness, not success. So even when it doesn’t work out, God cares for you, mourns with you, and sees that you are growing into who you are meant to be. He is faithful to fulfill His promises to you.” (p. 70)
  • “And then there’s you, someone reading this with a light ready to be shared. Whether you’re too scared to shine because the crowd is comforting, or you think your past makes it hard to shine, remember this light isn’t dependent on who you are; it is dependent on who God is. This light will be bright not because you’re worthy of shining but because God is powerful enough to use broken vessels like you and me for His glory.” (p. 144)
  • “Your voice isn’t meant to be silenced. When God calls you to something, I pray you do it. However, don’t expect a literal voice; sometimes it is just your heart pumping with joy as you paint, teach, start that business, care for your children, make music, or write. When you feel this joy, do it for Jesus. Find ways to go and tell with this gift. But never forget we have the gift of our voice. We all are called to spread the gospel through love and through this truth.” (p. 174)

Aren’t those wonderful? I hope they whet your appetite for Grace’s lovely book. Keep reading for more about the author and info on where you can find What Will They Think?

About Grace Valentine, the author

Grace Valentine is an author, blogger, podcast host, and speaker. Her readers love the fact that she is young, ordinary, and relatable; they say her fresh voice helps them navigate their own faith and life. Grace’s mission is to show others that Christianity is not lame–it is an adventure worth living.

Grace grew up near New Orleans, Louisiana, in a suburban town called Mandeville. She graduated from Baylor University in 2018 with a degree in journalism. She currently resides in Orlando, Florida, where she enjoys going on runs and eating lots of sushi.

Grace is the bestselling author of Am I Enough? and Is It Just Me?

Where you can purchase What Will They Think?

You can purchase What Will They Think? from numerous booksellers and both online and brick-and-mortar stores via the link below. Just click on the link below!

Purchase What Will They Think? here

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: This was a sponsored thoughts. All the opinions expressed here are my own honest ones.

Enter to win this “Be Happy” journal plus more in the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop! (ends 7/22/22)

Hello everyone, and happy July!

I hope your summer is going beautifully–and let’s celebrate another holiday now with a fun giveaway hop! Dena from The Review Wire and Chatty Patty’s Place, along with tons of other neat bloggers, are joining together for the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop. Keep reading for more info on how to enter all the participating blogs’ giveaways, as well as my own.

The FINCHNWREN blog’s giveaway

I am totally in a pink mood today! And I am a HUGE lover of journals, paper goods, and beautiful office supplies. So I’m giving away some of my favorite things in the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop.

One winner will receive:

  • A “Life is Beautiful” clipboard folio from Sheffield Home. The folio has a clipboard on the front, a pink elastic band, and a lined pink paper pad with a pale rose in the corner. (Also, the cover has polka dots!)
  • A pink “Be Happy” journal in hardback. The journal contains guided and fun prompts on colorful pages, all designed to enable the writer to think with joy, gratitude, patience, laughter, and more (as the back cover says).
  • A Craft Decor Chalk Writer pen in gold.

How to enter the FINCHNWREN giveaway

To enter, just click on the pink “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 7/22/22. One winner will be selected and will receive all three items pictured above. Best wishes!

Enter here!

And now, for the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop!

You’ll have the opportunity to enter some amazing giveaways in the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop! To visit the linkup page, which lists every participating blog and even has a photo of what that blog is giving away, simply click on the blue InLinkz button below. That will take you to the giveaway hop page, where I am sure you’ll find some amazing prizes you’d love to enter to win! Giveaways all close on 7/22/22. Each participating blog is responsible for fulfilling their prize giveaways.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=c0efdbe6b4add43dd7ef

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: The FINCHNWREN blog is only responsible for providing its own prize. All other blogs will provide their own prizes.

For you this Sunday: Hillsong Worship’s “You Said”

Hello, friends!

I woke up this morning with a worship song on my mind. All I could remember of it was that it started with, “You said…” and I could remember the instrumentals only for the chorus. When I looked it up (thank you, Google!), I listened to it and oh, my heart!. This song gets me. It honestly, nearly takes me to my knees. It communicates to me so strongly God’s worth, and His desire to move in us and for us.

Here’s a little snippet:

You said, “ask and you will receive
Whatever you need”
You said, “pray and I’ll hear from heaven,
And I’ll heal your land”

Reuben Morgan, Hillsong Worship

Bless you today! –Wren

“Going Home” ~ a SONY Affirm Original series now on Pure Flix! (plus giveaway, ends 6/18/22)

#sponsor #partner

Hello there!

I have such an unusual show to tell you about today–plus a giveaway, courtesy of Momentum Influencer Network and Pure Flix! I was provided with an episode of a truly remarkable new series to watch and tell you about. Keep reading for more. I am sure you will be fascinated, just as I was.

About Going Home

Here’s what the filmmakers have to tell us about Going Home:

“Everyone has a calling from God and Charley’s purpose is to help people transition from this world to their forever home. Watch this heartfelt series that will inspire you to think deeper about your relationships and how you can live well with the time we’re all blessed with. God gives everyone a calling – and for Charley, it’s to help families during one of the most difficult times of their lives.”

Charley Copeland (played by Cynthia Geary) is an award-winning hospice nurse who kindly and lovingly guides both patients and their families during the patients’ last days on earth. Janey (Cozi Zuehlsdorff) is a newly-hired nurse whose joie de vivre is a breath of fresh air on the unit. And Charisma Carpenter (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) suddenly appears as an old friend of Charley’s, who needs the special help only her friend can provide. (Even if Charley is reluctant to do so.)

Charley’s mission, more than getting along with coworkers or standing on her own laurels, is to faithfully serve her patients and hand them off into eternity. Her most loving relationship (perhaps her only really close one?) is with God, with whom she speaks at the end of each episode from her porch, as the sun beautifully sets in the distance.

You can watch this wonderful series on Pure Flix! Just click this link: Going Home

About episode 2 of Going Home, “The Cards You’re Dealt”

In recent years, those of us who enjoy faith-based series or films have been able to enjoy an absolute bounty of them. But I am certain that none of us has watched one that tells the story of nurses who work in hospice care; who are there to help those who are on their final journey to their forever home. Isn’t that a bold choice for a series? And, fortunately for us, it’s one that succeeds on so many levels.

Charley’s patient Betty Baker (Sharva Maynard) is a fiesty, cheerful older woman. Her husband Vance is played by the marvelous Tom Skerritt. They’ve enjoyed a long, deeply-connected marriage that’s been filled with adventurous vacations, road trips, and experiences that have helped knit their special relationship deeply together. They even play cards (although Betty teases Vance about how many rounds he’s lost).

But now, Vance has to say goodbye to his lifelong companion. And he is completely not ready to do so. And Charley has some concerns that she hasn’t shared, yet, with either Betty or Vance.

…and my impressions of it

Charley doesn’t seem to be very warm when we first meet her. Yet her devotion to her patients and to the process of shepherding them from this life to the next is admirable. We get to watch her all the way through the process: taking a breath as she prepares to enter her patients’ rooms; watchfully caring for them and their present needs; helping their families; enabling them to step into eternity; and, her own time with the Lord each day.

I found that, I REALLY like Charley. I love her absolutely steadfast commitment and care for her patients. It is so inspiring. And I adored watching her process her day with the Lord each day as the sun goes down and her shift is over. (I also admire her commitment to exercise, which has got to be necessary in such a taxing job!) I appreciate the honesty of the show as well. While it is faith-based, it doesn’t shy away from the tough questions surrounding death and the dying, the losses of family, and even coworkers’ occasional relational challenges.

I also appreciated the fantastic casting of the show regulars AND Skerritt’s and Maynard’s beautiful portrayal of a long-married couple saying a temporary (though I’m sure to them it feels final) goodbye. And as you can imagine, heaven (and who’s going to be there!) is a recurring conversation topic.

I loved this show. I’d say that it would be appropriate and fantastic for adults, and at the very least for teens. Some children might also appreciate it; parents would just need to assess where their kids are in being able to have and understand questions about death and dying.

I recommend this lovely show. And kudos to Pure Flix and Going Home‘s writers, directors, and producers for tackling such an unlikely subject. I think that it’s both brave–and necessary.

And here’s a Bible verse that speaks beautifully to this episode:

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Philippians 2:1-4 (NIV)

Watch the trailer for Going Home here & subscribe to Pure Flix!

You can watch the trailer for Going Home right here! And I’m sure that, like me, you’ll want to see more–and to do so, you can subscribe to the fantastic Pure Flix streaming service! Just click on the subscribe link below–and then watch the trailer!

Subscribe here!

And…enter to win!

Pure Flix is giving away a 3-month streaming service subscription to one FINCHNWREN reader!

Here’s all you have to do to enter to win. Just click on the pink “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on June 18, 2022. One winner will be selected to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

“I Love You, Mom!” ~ a book review & giveaway (ends 3/25/22)

#sponsor #partner

The BlogAbout Blogger Network sent me the most lovely and encouraging book for moms! I Love You, Mom! is a beautiful love note to mothers. I was so blessed and edified to read this book. And, I have a copy of the print book to give away to one FINCHNWREN reader. Keep reading for more, and for the opportunity to win!

About I Love You, Mom!

This precious book really is a love letter to moms. It includes beautiful artwork (in some of my favorite colors), Bible verses and devotional writings, prayers, and little notes on different subjects (these are written in a child’s voice, as if a mom’s child was writing notes of appreciation). It’s authored by daughter/mother writing team Blythe Daniel and Helen McIntosh. The book is subtitled “Cherished word gifts from my heart to yours,” and it really is just that!

Blythe and Helen have created a book that contains encouraging words that moms need to hear, along with Scriptures that will settle in mothers’ hearts and remind them both of God’s wonderful calling to them, along with His promises to always be with moms, working alongside them for His lifelong purposes. Devotional writings’ subjects include treasuring children; giving thanks; abundant love; confidence; regrets and affirmation; our time and attention; gifts and traditions; and much more. Each of these lovely chapters closes with wise and kind words of affirmation written in the child’s voice. How beautiful!

My thoughts about I Love You, Mom!

It touched my heart and my spirit so deeply! As I read this book, I felt many emotions. Although our son isn’t a little guy any more, I’m so grateful for the moments we’ve shared since his infancy, toddlerhood, and so on, all the way through his teen years. (Which are now officially concluded as he’s entered his twenties!) As I Love You, Mom! reminded me, God has held us all and loved us during every step of our lives.

And although this book paints a lovely picture of the mother & child life together, it’s also quite truthful. We do experience challenges in our family lives! We are not perfect people; we are loved humans who are endeavoring to create beautiful family experiences for our children. And sometimes we fail–in big ways or small ways. Yet our loving heavenly Father never gives up on us; never forgets us; never leaves us alone. And that’s a message that all moms need to hear.

I Love You, Mom! would be a fantastic gift for moms in any stage of the parenting life. It would be perfect for new moms, for Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day mom gifts, or really for any moment you’d like to bring a special gift to a mother. With its Scriptures and focus on a loving God who’s alongside mothers in every step of their journey, it’s something that women of faith would appreciate. Above all, these chapters provide moments where moms can take a breath, receive encouragement, and catch a glimpse of the vision of their best for their children’s lives. That’s definitely a gift that not every book can provide!

About the authors

A magnificent mother-daughter duo, Helen McIntosh and Blythe Daniel released Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mother and Daughters in 2019 and have paired up again for I Love You, Mom!: Cherished Word Gifts from My Heart to Yours  releasing in February 2022.


Blythe is the president of The Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc., is a literary agent, marketer, and writer with 25 years in media and publishing. She has written for Focus on the Family, Proverbs 31 Ministries, Ann Voskamp, and Christian Retailing. 

Right away, Helen is someone you know as an encourager at heart. She has her Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Sarasota, and is the author of Messages to Myself and Eric, Jose & The Peace Rug.

How you can enter to win your own copy of I Love You, Mom!

The BlogAbout Blogger Network has provided a copy of I Love You, Mom! for me to give away to one FINCHNWREN reader! (Although I’ve included pictures of the digital ebook on my Kindle, the winner will receive the print version.)

To enter, just click on the pink link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 3/25/22.

Enter here!

Thank you so much for reading; this book was just a joy to share with you. You can purchase your own copies from Amazon, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Target, or other booksellers.

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions are honest and my own.

A little about “I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants)” –now available!

#sponsor #partner

I’ve had the chance to dig into this wonderful new book about women’s friendships, courtesy of FrontGate Media and authors Amy Weatherly and Jess Johnston. It is, honestly, the perfect book for women after nearly two straight years of a worldwide pandemic.

I don’t know about you. But I have realized, in the last few months, how much I miss pre-corona get-togethers. There are so many things I miss doing with my gal friends, that would have been pretty easy to schedule almost at the drop of a hat. And there are precious people that I used to see here and there that I have almost lost touch with completely.

I realized that not only do I want covid to GO AWAY; but, I also need to do some sort of reset on my friendships. And just in time: I received I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants), by Amy Weatherly & Jess Johnston.

It. Is. Wonderful!

Amy and Jess became friends online. Then they moved to phone calls (they lived states away from each other). And then, out of that friendship, the Sister, I Am With You blog was born. As you probably can imagine, this online spot is to encourage, to uplift, to help build up friendships. Just what their book is about, in real, hilarious, gut-honest wonderfulness. Here’s just a sample of what you will find in this book, from the table of contents:

You know, we’ve all had friend struggles. Such as:

  • When you think you’re the only one who doesn’t have friends
  • When your “person” moves away
  • When you get ghosted by someone you thought was close to you
  • When you don’t know how to make friends
  • And all those other friend moments that hurt your heart

Amy and Jess have felt all those things. They’ve talked about them. And it turns out, all women go through this. But how do you get over the pain, or keep your friendships close, or build new ones? They have beautiful and encouraging words for so many situations that we’ve all faced. And maybe now (like me) you are really noticing that you miss your girlfriends! If that is you, I can’t recommend this book more highly.

Some of my favorite moments from this book

About a friend breakup: “It taught me to choose my friends wisely, to be intentional about the relationships I invest in, to guard my heart, and to go all in. It taught me to love the moment but to be aware that anything can change. It taught me to know who I am…It taught me about boundaries and learning to leave with grace.”

About moving away from self-criticism: “I had welcomed myself. I had honored who God made me to be, and this gave me energy to breathe life into the people around me. I relaxed…If you did not like me or wave me over to sit in your circle, it was okay because I believed someone eventually would.”

About how to build friendships: “Invest in people who are like-hearted. Invest in people who are capable of investing in you. Invest in people who make room for you at their tables. Invest in people who are dependable. Invest in people who are consistent and willing to get real…who make you feel a sense of connection, and even more importantly, a sense of belonging.”

And this one, which I won’t explain because you seriously just need to read this book and delight in it without knowing it’s coming: “You can’t be everyone’s Chick-fil-A sauce.”

There is just so much beauty in this book. But there is also such a sense of fun. Of open-heartedness, and sound counsel sprinkled not only with honesty, but with kindness and care. I loved I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants), and I think you will too!

Where you can purchase I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants)

You can find this amazing book on Amazon! Just click on the link below, and it will take you right to the book’s page.

I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants) purchase page

Where you can find the authors on social media

These gals are so fun! So if you’d like to follow them, here’s where you’ll find them:

Amy Weatherly on Instagram

Jess Johnston on Instagram

Sister, I Am With You on Instagram

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: From time to time, FINCHNWREN may receive a free product or service to share on our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

“A Book Called You” ~ A JustRead Blog Tour (and giveaway, ends 1/17/22)

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A Book Called You JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for A Book Called You by Matthew Stephen Brown, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

A Book Called You Title: A Book Called You Author: Matthew Stephen Brown Publisher: W Publishing / Thomas Nelson Release Date: October 5, 2021 Genre: Christian Growth / Enneagram A biblically grounded Enneagram book that looks at the Enneagram numbers of people in the Bible so readers can discover more about themselves and gain specific wisdom about how and why they are uniquely made. Who am I? Everyone asks that question, no matter their age or status in life. If we truly are supposed to be real with others, shouldn’t that start with learning how to be real with ourselves? We think so. But we have to be willing to look inside and ask, “Okay, God, who am I? What is it that I don’t see about myself that you see?” A Book Called YOU will help us learn about who we are as individuals and how a biblical view of self-discovery can improve every part of our lives. Based on his widely successful teaching series “A Series Called You” and his personal experience using the Enneagram personality assessment tool in his marriage and other personal relationships, pastor Matt Brown offers a groundbreaking, entertaining, and heartfelt guide that highlights biblical truths alongside the Enneagram to help us better understand ourselves and how we relate to the people around us. PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matthew Stephen Brown is the founding and lead pastor of Sandals Church in Riverside, California. Sandals Church began in 1997 when Pastor Matt and his wife, Tammy, set out to create a church where people could be real with themselves, God, and others. From its first meeting with eight people in the Browns’ living room, Sandals Church has since grown to reach more than 12,000 people each weekend at eleven locations across Southern and Central California. Around the world, Sandals Church’s digital content is viewed by close to 30,000 people every week.

Today, he continues to lead Sandals Church as the primary teaching pastor. In 2016, he launched The Debrief podcast, an opportunity for people to get real answers to tough questions about the Bible and Christianity. And last year, Pastor Matt and Sandals Church launched the ROGO Foundation, which exists to help save and replant dying churches and invest in up-and-coming leaders through hands-on leadership training programs at Sandals Church. Matt is passionate about the vision of authenticity and raising up the next generation of leaders for the local church. He and Tammy have three children and reside in Riverside, California.
CONNECT WITH MATTHEW: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a copy of A Book Called You!

A Book Called You JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight January 10, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on January 17, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

My experiences with A Book Called You

I’d been meaning to take the Enneagram personality test for quite awhile; but somehow, it never seemed to be the right time. With the opportunity to read A Book Called You, though, I knew it was finally the moment! (I was also grateful that I had waited a bit to take the test; when I first considered it we’d gone through an extremely difficult time in my family. I think my answers might have been skewed because of that time of suffering. There’s definitely a time for everything!)

So, if you’re not familiar with the Enneagram, it’s a personality test which gives results by helping test-takers identify themselves via 9 different types:

  • Type 1: The Reformer
  • Type 2: The Helper
  • Type 3: The Achiever
  • Type 4: The Individualist
  • Type 5: The Observer
  • Type 6: The Loyalist
  • Type 7: The Enthusiast
  • Type 8: The Challenger
  • Type 9: The Peacemaker

Now. I’m a fan of personality tests, for the purposes that they can help us understand who we are and how we interact with the world, people, and work. I really like the Enneagram because it informs me about, as author Brown says, motivation, or “why we do what we do,” in his book introduction. In A Book Called You, Brown takes each Enneagram type and describes what they are and how you can recognize them. He identifies their greatest quality (or gift), their most likely besetting sin, and their own greatest needs. He shares a character in the Bible whom he believes would be that particular type (including both their flaws and strengths), along with stories from his own, family’s, and friends’ lives.

But because this is not just a book about information, Brown shares how we can grow and be real: with ourselves, with others, and with God. These are sometimes challenging, because they’re going to cause each type to have to engage with their greatest failings. But wow, the fruit that could come from dealing with those in our lives!

What this book did for me personally

I’ve been familiar with my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) for years, and that information really helped me in terms of understanding how I am energized, how I categorize information, and the patterns I follow in work or play. However, in other ways I’ve been a mystery to myself.

What a gift the Enneagram–and this book–were to me in regards to that! Suddenly, I understood why I have had difficulty in saying “no” (although I am SO much better at that in recent years) over the course of my life; why I love volunteering; why I attach emotional value to the food I prepare for my loved ones. I’ve also been struck with the clarity of my own fears and avoidances; both what they are and why they might exist in the first place. And why certain spiritual practices tend to be easy and enjoyable for me…and why others (which are equally important) are hard. I appreciated and agreed with Brown’s recommendations for my type, and how I can grow in transparency not only with myself but with others, and with God.

I loved reading this book. Brown’s voice is enjoyable, his manner of relating helps and information about each type is engaging; and, most of all, when he speaks pastorally to encourage and exhort the reader, he does so with the understanding of how each type will be able to best receive that information. If you’d like to approach the Enneagram types from a perspective of Christian growth and encouragement, this is the book for you. I enjoyed it; and I’m sure I’ll use it again and again!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Enter to win 2 Tix to “Show Me the Father” (CLOSED)

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**CONGRATULATIONS to Bryan V, who won the tickets!**

Hello everyone!

I can finally tell you all more about the Kendrick Brothers’ amazing new film, Show Me the Father. I ALSO have two Fandango tickets to see “Show Me the Father” in theaters opening weekend, thanks to Momentum Influencers Network and the Kendricks. Keep reading for more, plus info on how you can enter to win!

About the Kendricks and their new film

You’re probably familiar with the Kendricks brothers, Alex and Stephen. They’re incredible storytellers, and you might have even seen some of their movies, like:

  • Fireproof
  • Facing the Giants
  • Courageous
  • War Room
  • Overcomer

All of these are faith-based films which place their characters in moving, exciting, and engaging dramas. Whether the films are focusing on marriage, parenting, prayer, or faith exercised via sports, each one has a story to tell that leaves the viewers encouraged on their own journeys.

In Show Me the Father, the Kendricks take their exceptional storytelling abilities and apply them in creating a documentary that feels more like a movie. This time, however, the stories are true. They speak to a number of men, and using film, photos, voiceovers, and interview footage, they ask them to describe what their own relationships were like with their own fathers. Their stories run the gamut from devastating and heartbreaking, to supportive and encouraging. In addition, Tony Evans speaks, like a beloved mentor, about what God, the perfect Father, intended for father-child relationships to be and do: to be a picture of the perfect heavenly dad, reimaged in earthly dads with His love, encouragement, support, excitement, patience, and joy. The trouble with that is that we, as humans, so often don’t get that picture right.

Does that leave you thinking you’d leave the theater on a sad note? If so, let me reassure you; you won’t, at all! Regardless of whether you’ll grow up to be a dad, or a mom, or if you don’t have children, you do have a father story within you. It’s the story of how your dad related to you. Was that a wonderful experience, or did it leave you empty and heartbroken for what each of us longs for (but that not each of us gets)? Show Me the Father brings viewers through stories both tough and broken, but also through those supportive and loving; and, in addition to that, offers uplifting truths, Scriptures, and prayers that can bring healing and blessing to the broken places in all of us.

I truly believe that this movie is for you. Whether you are a father, a mom, a young man or woman; whether your faith is Christian or another religious tradition, or whether you don’t subscribe to any faith…this is for you! If you had a father or didn’t, if he was good or brought pain to you, THIS MOVIE can bring help, healing, and life to you.

I don’t believe I have ever seen a movie that left me so incredibly encouraged, lifted up, and joyful. What each of us does have, regardless of our own families of origin, is a God who designed every little detail about us, loves us so powerfully and deeply, and who stands ready to help us every day in all that we do, say, experience–and whose love will never fail us because He never fails. Show Me the Father will speak over you; bring blessing and encouragement; and it will meet you where you are. Don’t miss this movie!

How to enter to win 2 Fandango tix to Show Me the Father

It’s so simple! Just click on the pink “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 9/6/21, and one winner will be selected to win the 2 Fandango tickets. Giveaway is limited to US residents only. Best wishes!

Enter here!

How to purchase tickets for Show Me the Father

If you’re not selected as the giveaway winner from my blog, I strongly encourage you to purchase tickets and take yourself, friends, family, to this amazing film. I just can’t tell you how much I believe, even know, it will bless you. I’ve included the Show Me the Father website link, where you can purchase your own or additional tickets.

Show Me the Father website

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to Sony Pictures for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.